NASA seeking student experiments for balloon flight

October 28, 2011

NASA is accepting applications from graduate and undergraduate university students to fly experiments to the edge of space on a scientific balloon. This balloon flight competition is a joint project between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE) in Baton Rouge.

NASA is targeting fall 2012 for the next flight opportunity for the LaSPACE maintained Student Platform (HASP) facility. HASP is a balloon-borne instrument stack that provides an annual near-space flight opportunity for 12 undergraduate and graduate student-built instruments.

A panel of experts from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., and LaSPACE will review the applications and select the finalists for the next flight opportunity. Launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility's remote site in Fort Sumner, N.M., flights typically achieve 15 to 20 hours duration at an altitude of approximately 23 miles.

HASP houses and provides power, mechanical support, interfacing and communications for the instruments. It can be used to flight-test compact satellites, prototypes and other small designed and built by students.

HASP can support approximately 200 pounds of payloads and test articles. Since 2006, the HASP program selected more than 50 payloads for flights involving more than 200 students from across the United States.

The deadline for applications for the 2012 flight is Dec. 16. A question-and-answer teleconference for interested parties is scheduled on Nov. 11.

For application materials, teleconference schedule and additional HASP details, visit: laspace.lsu.edu/hasp

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